I have a blog titled "It is how we measure" that I've shared my experience and thoughts of how we measure our health and the most frequently asked question is "How much weight have you lost", which of course when trying to lose weight would be the question inquiring minds would want to know. We all want to see that number decrease when losing weight, but I shared some of the other factors that improve while attempting the healthy changes; for instance endurance in cardio, balance and coordination, strength and happy endorphins. Today I have another measurement that goes along with the health campaigns to get America's obesity factors changed and get us to be a healthier country.
The numbers are about what is happening on the inside of the body and the question we have all heard over and over via TV shows like Biggest Loser or Dr. Oz and even possibly your own Dr. The question " Do you know your numbers?" This question is familiar to us all and it is not about a math class, but our health! The know your numbers campaign is referring to; Blood Pressure, LDL Cholesterol, Blood Glucose and BMI ( body mass index) and some even measure the circumference of the body where your stomach is located.
Over the last few years, because of my weight I have been terrified to have these measured. People my size have these numbers shoot through the roof! When Dr.'s see these numbers they wonder how it is we are still alive. These numbers can be very scary and knowing them, at least for me could create added stress. For awhile I have wondered how it was that I was still alive. If walking up a small flight of stairs gets you winded..it can't be good. I knew I was in serious trouble.
There have been a few times over the last few years that I have been ill and went to the 24 hr care center..avoiding a real Dr. visit and on those occasions did have my blood pressure taken. Each time it was 150+/90 - ish and back in the day when I was healthier my number was 120/70. Knowing this tidbit about my blood pressure was scary enough to encourage me to make changes.
I have avoided the Dr. for many years. One reason is that I know I am over weight, I know I have not eaten a healthy diet. I was a drive thru junk food addict hitting the drive thru several times a week. I know my numbers had to be off the charts! I know I have abused my bodies health and was afraid of walking! I was afraid of getting out of breath, building up pressure and having a heart attack! I had gotten afraid to live even a simple life out of fear of sudden death. One other reason for avoiding the Dr. is my lack of respect for the way many Dr's practice medicine. It is a what are your symptoms, here is a pill method vs. here are your symptoms lets find out why and see what changes you can make to alleviate the symptoms. Then you add all the warnings associated with pills these days and risk factors I did not want to be handed a pill. I will avoid the pills thank you very much and get busy!
I have watched and read many health related issues so I knew what I needed to do in order to change the direction of my health. I'd rather exercise and learn to eat right than take a bunch of pills/chemicals with side effects. Good nutrition and exercise will get rid of plenty of my symptoms! Watching the Biggest Loser and Dr. Oz , I have seen that by applying exercise and eating right that within 3-6 weeks people are off of the med's they were taking for blood pressure, diabetes and lowering cholesterol. They are still heavy so losing weight is not the only factor to changing these "know your number" numbers! That was encouraging, because it takes along time to drop the weight (BMI) number. They have added years to their lives with eating right and exercising and saving lots of money by getting off of the med's! This is fantastic news! This is encouraging!
Knowing this information helped me realize I can make some drastic changes in my health even when the weight loss is a slow process. I am changing the inside faster than the visual outside parts of me! Yesterday, I had to go in for a health screening for our health insurance We will get money put onto our health insurance savings card if we meet at least one of the four target goals set up by the insurance company. 1 target met = $150, 2 targets met = $300 and 3 targets met = $450 and that is the max so 3 out of the 4 will give you the maximum $'s. I was scared yet with all the changes I have made thought it might not be to bad. I have been applying these changes for a couple years and even more so in the last 3 months. The targets for the insurance were slightly different than the National Institute of Health numbers so I am going to list those two numbers along with my numbers for you. My husband works for Kroger so that will be the K, NIH for the National Inst of Health and of course my number which will be my name. Here goes, drum roll please:
Blood Pressure-NIH = 120/70 ~ K = 140/90 ~ Lisa = 129/88 ~ target 1 met =$150
Blood Glucose- NIH = 100 ~ K= 125 ~ Lisa = 106 ~ target 2 met =$300
LDL Cholesterol - NIH = 100 ~ K= 160 ~ Lisa = 127 ~ target 3 met = $450
even my other cholesterol factors were all in the healthy numbers! Since I met 3 out of 4 I did not have to get weighed and measured for the BMI, besides I know those numbers! Wii Fit Plus gives me that # when I weigh in each week. It is dropping so eventually I will get that met, but for an FYI for those of you watching your BMI numbers NIH = 25 and K insurance wanted a BMI of 29. I think my last BMI on Wii was 50.03 yikes, but you know my weight now, so that would be expected. Not afraid to go there anymore with all of you.
So there it is! The inside scoop! My work is paying off and I have reaped other rewards for my changes! The number associated with weight is still moving slowly, but the inside numbers tell me this is all worth it!
Get busy y'all and add numbers of years to your life! Make the insides as healthy as you can and in the process the number that affects how we see each other on the outside will start dropping too. That is my inside scoop!